Collaboration Creates 'Green Corridor' in West Virginia
Government Officials Commend Public/Private Sector Collaboration of Sustainable Practices
The cities of Charles Town and Ranson have worked with many public and private sector partners to bring community revitalization projects to fruition. To date, American Public University (APUS) has invested nearly $55 million in local, environmentally-friendly construction and renovation projects in the two communities, including its year-old Administrative Center. The plan calls for eventually spending $100 million.
“Our core mission is to expand access to quality, affordable education while supporting the economic and environmental livelihood of our local communities, and beyond,” said Dr. Boston. “We’re proud to partner with our local, state, and federal governments and other industry officials to make our planned campus expansion an anchor of this larger initiative, to the benefit of residents and business owners alike.”
APUS joined Charles Town and Ranson, West Virginia officials to celebrate the groundbreaking of community revitalization projects.
APUS President & CEO Wallace E. Boston, Charles Town Mayor Peggy Smith and Ranson Mayor David Hamill hosted Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, and several other government and business leaders for the event, which previewed master development plans for the following:
- A new APUS technology and multi-purpose center
- A $10 million improvement of North George Street in Charles Town and Fairfax Boulevard in Ranson into a “green corridor” roadway
- A $16 million mixed-use retail, commercial and residential Town Center at Powhatan Place in Ranson.
- The $14 million Frank Entertainment CineBowl retail entertainment complex in Ranson.
- A $4 million restoration of historic Charles Washington Hall into a public food market, café, visitors center, and arts and cultural space in Charles Town.
“These projects demonstrate that small towns can dream big and accomplish big things by working with partners on sustainable community revitalization,” said Mayor Hamill.
The State of West Virginia has been a strong partner in these revitalization efforts, including through collaboration with APUS, support for a package of HUD financing at the Powhatan Place redevelopment, and through grant funding and project management for the Green Corridor roadway project.
“West Virginia is ready to invest in business and community revitalization, and we welcome this partnership with our public and private sector allies,” said Governor Tomblin.
Other dignitaries attending the event included WV Secretary of Transportation Paul Maddox; US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regional Administrator Jane Vincent; HUD Director of Sustainable Housing and Communities Salin Geevarghese; US Dept. of Transportation Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy Shoshana Lew; US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus; EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin; the state senators and delegates representing Jefferson County; and other private sector leaders investing in the community.
In addition to its Administrative Center that opened in Fall 2012, and which straddles Charles Town and Ranson, APUS’s other noteworthy construction projects include the state’s largest solar array opened in Spring 2012 and its Academic Center which opened in late 2010. Today, it employs 600+ local staff and owns or leases more than 12 properties in the two communities constructed or refurbished to the LEED Silver Standard or higher.
In Charles Town, APUS is currently planning to develop two new buildings and a parking deck for 2014, and beyond. In Ranson, it plans to renovate the old ABC building with outdoor parking. Long-term growth potential could include additional buildings and parking deck.
American Public University System, winner of the Sloan Consortium’s Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education and first three-time recipient of Sloan’s Effective Practice Award, offers more than 90 online degree programs through its American Public University and American Military University institutions. APUS’s relevant curriculum, affordability and flexibility help more than 100,000 working adults worldwide pursue degrees in a diverse variety of subjects.